How your adrenals hold the key to weight loss & sanity

Have you ever felt tired but wired? Or perhaps you exercise, eat right (or along those lines), live a pretty healthy lifestyle, and still your weight is not budging or you’re not really feeling that much better? Or all of a sudden in the past few days, or weeks, you’re just not feeling yourself, want to sleep all the time (and can’t fall and/or stay asleep), craving carbs/sugar/fats (or find yourself eating them more than usual), and wondering what in the heck has changed?? We’ve been on the earth for a number of decades, and have generations of ‘stuff’ behind us that influence our health and livelihood. We didn’t just develop these concerns, in fact, they’ve been snowballing little by little over time when now we need to play detective to ‘what was the straw that broke the camel’s back?’

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Fast Track to Weight Loss - Literally

Fasting has been around since ancient times, well over 1000 years old, as it was utilized by Plato. Hippocrates (father of medicine) and later on Benjamin Franklin, also used this technique to heal. Fasting is also seen in various religious and spiritual practices with the notion that when the body is not using resources to digest, it diverts those resources to heal whatever may be going on inside our body. Consider when we’re sick, we’re typically not hungry- the body knows what it needs to do and at that point in time food will only be a diversion. Intermittent fasting is when you eat in a certain window of time (can vary), and fast in others.

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A simple strategy in getting back on track post New Year, holiday, weekend festivities, etc.

Around this time we are post New Year festivities, but you can definitely apply this to other types of celebrations. Like where you may have spent a few days recovering and getting back into your general routine to feel like yourself, and thinking about which diet, cleanse, treatment, etc. can get you back on track - whether or not it’s worked in the past? On the flip side, what if you knew yourself so well that you knew exactly what to do to feel like yourself again, or perhaps better, and trusted that your body will respond with those results?! Aka those pants will button quite a bit easier.

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Why stress can HELP your hormones (and improve your life)

“I’m so stressed out!” “Stress is the cause of all disease!” “I’m seriously so f’ing stressed all the time. I have no idea what I’m doing- I can’t sleep, I can’t lose weight, my mind is racing 24/7.” Usually followed by “I need a drink/chocolate/snack or a vacation - or all of it at once.” Deep breath (seriously, 4 counts in through your nose, hold for 1, out for 8 counts through your mouth). Stress CAN harm us, but we also need stress to survive. In fact, the same physiological pathway that makes our hormones like estrogen and testosterone, also makes our stress hormone, cortisol.

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Hair loss or hair thinning? What you need to consider & test

“What can I do for hair loss/hair thinning?” is a common question amongst both men and women alike as either they didn’t think it would happen to them, feel it’s happening to early in life, or just flat out feel like it shouldn’t be happening at all! Reflecting back to this quote, hair issues can develop for a number of reasons, so of course it’s important to provide supportive therapies, it’s just as important to address the processes of why we’re in this scenario in the first place.

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"But it's (weight) just diet and lifestyle right?"

Pretty much sums it up. Except change is hard. We can eat those veggies, the grilled chicken (or beans, depending on preference), eat super clean, and then little by little the foods that got us to this place where we realized we wanted to lose weight are back in our diet plan. Or maybe they’re not but now we’re just miserable. We feel like we can’t go out with friends, enjoy a single bit of _____ (fill in your desired food here), or we’ll get bloated/can’t sleep/gain weight, etc. So let’s rephrase- it’s not that it’s hard, is that it challenges who we are, our lifestyle, and those solid brain connections.

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How you can change your DNA to lose weight

Do you look like your family? Do they have the same health concerns? Well to some extent you can blame mom and/or dad for those cravings, body shape, difficulty in losing weight, etc. At conception, we receive either a X or Y chromosome from the father, and a X from the mother to determine if we are male or female, respectively. Each person donates an additional 22 chromosomes of information. Chromosomes are lined up next to each other in pairs, with a plethora of information on each strand.

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The most important change to make to lose weight

We are the only species that can make the decision as to our identity, and in the case above, an elephant has been conditioned since they were little to comply even though with their size and strength, they can easily tear down the tent. However, in humans, because we are the only ones to understand the unconscious and conscious mind, we can also have a lot of ‘stuff’ in our way. Different outcomes means different thought processes, habits, all requiring our mind AND body to undergo rewiring. As soon as you understand these reasons for holding you back, your conscious brain will start forming new connections with your unconscious brain to heighten awareness and shift what you’ve been doing.

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Have cravings? Or cravings have you..?

Tough love, I know, and we may have been there at some point, whether it’s the mid afternoon ‘pick me up’, end of the day decision fatigue where we just don’t give two hoots anymore, stress eating, eating because we’re bored, or someone orders something and we haven’t had that in forever.. And I’m sure there’s more scripts running through our heads (I already thought of a few more because I’ve been there too). We’re also brilliant and know to some extent what we’re doing, but change and willpower take energy, strategy, a plan, and then we may feel guilty. Good news- yes, we do need to take responsibility, but there’s ways of optimizing our physiology to tip the odds in our favor.

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3 lifestyle habits to jumpstart your metabolism

In other words, age and genetics to some extent play a role in our metabolism, but it doesn’t mean it has to be an excuse of why we can’t lose weight! It just means we may need to work a little harder in the meantime to change old habits that got us to this place, and truly understand/listen to how our body works. And truth be told… everyone is different.

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Why weight tends to go right to our abdomen and what to do

Weight is so much more than calories in/calories out- it plays a role, but that in conjunction with potentially may other things going on, can seem like an uphill battle. And it kind of is. Chances are you didn’t just wake up one morning however many pounds heavier, but it was over a period of time where you did wake up one morning, and your clothes didn’t fit right, you felt lethargic/not good, thought the scale was broken or that higher number is actually muscle (if you’re working out- oh I’ve been there too!), or wondered why it could went to your abdomen instead of _______-> fill in the blank with desired body part.

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Does your health routine reflect Toyota or Rolls Royce status?

“It takes about 13 hours to build a Toyota, and 6 months to build a Rolls Royce.” Just like in health, a few pieces of kale won’t cure everything, and a day at the gym won't turn you into a body builder (both are good starts). We’ve been conditioned that we can ‘take a pill for ____’ (Toyota level), except we’re not going out-supplement or out-medicate a less than optimal lifestyle. I’ve tried, my patients have tried (before they saw me), and people have told me they’ve tried. And if it works, it works for a certain amount of time that quells the concern/symptom, but then it comes back, or something else appears/returns, or a dose has to be readjusted- yet if we channel our inner child and ask ‘why is this happening’, do we begin to understand the our complexities and nourish the motivation it takes to become the Rolls Royce of health.

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Must-have markers on your labs

If you feel like you’re getting shuttled through a system, or that you’re being told you’re fine when you feel like something is off, or wondering if you’re fine why you’re on medication or being recommended supplements, or - and last one - nothing seems to be getting better (i.e. can’t lose weight, not sleeping right). Maybe you got a thorough work-up, or basic yearly bloodwork, and then all the numbers still come back in range. Or they’re slightly off but not enough to warrant medication, but let’s watch and wait. You’re not alone.. and this is way way more common than it should be.

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What birth control, hormone replacement, and testosterone replacement all have in common

Logically, if something is low, like oil in a car, just fill it up to replace it. If only the body was that simple.. we know it’s not, but we may not always grasp its complexities as that’s why whenever a medication or supplement is offered to solely replace, other problems still occur. The endocrine system is comprised of at least 7 different organs + fat cells (yes, our fat cells secrete hormones and signals too) with at least 3 different messages that go to certain organs. That’s at least 21 conversations happening at any given time, and sometimes those conversations need the attention of other structures like our heart, bones, and gut, for example, to optimize function. However, those conversations can get muddled when there’s not enough nutrients to make those signals, too much stress, poor sleep, poor lifestyle, and a sedentary lifestyle. Symptoms occur when there’s something like a rock concert of dis-ease going on inside our body and those conversations have to get really loud.

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What extra weight is trying to tell you

Weight is a symptom- not a disease, an imperfection, something to be shamed, or beat yourself up about. I can relate because in the middle of medical school I gained 20 pounds in 4 months, and just told myself I was bloated and the clothes shrank in the drier. Amazing how defense mechanisms kick in.. In any case, what really happened was that there were many more concerns going on that had to be healed, because clearly this did not happen overnight, but through a culmination of many processes that went unnoticed until well, they were.

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Why hypothyroid type symptoms may not completely resolve with medication

Synthroid, otherwise knows as it’s generic name Levothyroxine, is commonly given when people have underactive thyroid (hypothyroid), or Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune hypothyroid (antibodies disrupting thyroid function). It replaces T4, a hormone produced by our thyroid gland in the inactive version, where then predominantly the liver, to a lesser extent the gut, and remainder of the body converts it to the active form, T3. T4’s half life is about 5-7 days, taking longer to break down, versus T3’s half life of about 1 day- thyroid is metabolism, so given a short-term dose can ramp up our whole system (aka T3), hence why we’re commonly given T4. However, if we’re stressed, the body converts T4 to a hormone called reverse T3 (rT3), which is also inactive.

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What's your 'check engine' light?

The check engine light in a car is one of the worst lights to come on in the car because it's so vague. It can mean literally anything. Super comforting too when thinking about all the different parts in the car..-> sarcsam. So we may google or post on facebook or ask friends (kind of sounds like that show, 'Who wants to be a millionaire') to see if anyone has experienced the same thing and what we should do. Maybe we find the answer and the light goes off- but what if it comes back on again. And even though it went off, why was it there in the first place, aka do we really know our car well enough to know why, and if this will happen again? At this point you may be on the way to the mechanic so they can give you the full work-up, diagnosis, and prognosis. 

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How high cholesterol may be a sign of imbalanced hormones

Cholesterol is the building block of hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, cortisol (stress hormone), and aldosterone (responsible for our salt/water balance). Cholesterol is comprised of a number of particles that each serve a function such as:
-LDL ('bad' cholesterol; but not really bad because it delivers cholesterol to cells. The real question is 'what predisposes it to oxidizing in a way that causes damage'- more on that later).
-HDL ('good' cholesterol; transports cholesterol molecules to liver to get metabolized. Yet over 75 is not so good as elevated levels can be an inflammatory marker).
-Triglycerides (a marker of sugar/carbohydrate intake, as it's energy for later use). 
There are a few more cholesterol markers, but these are the main ones. 

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Are you working with or against your body type?

We know we're different than the next person, yet there's so much advice that seems generic that it's can be difficult to differentiate what's right for you, and can even include some trial and error (hopefully not much of the latter). Just like the blood type diet offers insight on eating right for our type, we also have a body type that helps guide our nutritional intake and fitness motivation. Especially when it comes to weight, it's an uphill battle as our fat cells are their own endocrine organ that tend to mess with our already probably somewhat off balanced hormones. 

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Lose weight & detox all at the same time with this class of veggies

Cruciferous vegetables.. some of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet are in the form of broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage, collards, watercress, brussels sprouts and arugula. They are incredibly high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and can help us lose weight, detox, and protect us against cancer and heart disease-related conditions. They are best cooked in coconut oil, or sauteed in olive oil, or other healthy fats, as they also have a high content of fat-soluble nutrients that are best absorbed when cooked in fats. 

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